Hospitals Cannot Refuse Medical Treatment over COVID Fear: Odisha Government

The Odisha Government has instructed hospitals against refusing medical treatment over fears of COVID. Recent reports state instances of patients being denied treatment in some non-COVID hospitals. In response to this, the state government has issued an order directing healthcare facilities to assure essential medical services are provided to those in need.

The order issued by the health department states that emergency procedures should not be withheld or deferred over COVID-19 fright.

“No patient shall be denied healthcare service and no life-threatening emergency procedure or treatment shall be deferred on grounds of suspicion of COVID-19 infection. It is our duty to provide immediate and proper treatment to all patients during the pandemic,” the health department said in its directive.

The department urged hospitals to set up a distinct fever clinic in every building, secluded from the main working area. Patients with issues related to breathing or any other COVID symptoms are to be placed in isolation wards.

Meanwhile, wearing of personal protective equipment for the safety of healthcare providers and support staff has also been stressed upon. Authorities at non-COVID facilities have been advised to inform the district surveillance unit if they come across a suspected coronavirus case.

“Screen all patients, all SARI (Severe Acute Respiratory Infection), ILI (Influenza-like illness), or other persons along with their attendants as soon as they enter the hospital,” the department said.

“When a positive case is detected in any unit of the hospital, the other patients in that room must be temporarily shifted to another ward. They can move back once the unit has been sanitized. This apart, staff members posted in isolation wards should refrain from working in other sections of the hospital,” the department added.

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